For the first time in seven years, global TV shipments have dropped according to a report from NPD Display Search. Plasma TV shipments increased by only 7 percent in Q4. In past years, the number has always been double digits. CRT fell to 34 percent as well. Overall in the major markets (Japan, North American and Western Europe), shipments dropped 21 percent while China was the most improved market, keeping the same percentage as Q3, 21 percent.
“The causes of slow demand in 2011 were complex, and although LCD TV showed growth, results were well below industry expectations,” Paul Gagnon, NPD DisplaySearch director of North America TV Research said in a press release. “The low level of shipments were partially caused by excessive inventory levels early in 2011 for the US and European markets, as well as a sharp drop in demand in Japan following the end of the government sponsored Eco-Points program that caused a surge in replacement activity during 2009-2010.”
When comparing models of TVs, large LCD screens increased the most over Q4 from holiday shopping. LCDs increased by 11 percent in comparison. Experts believe that direct-lit, less expensive LED models will speed up sales in 2012.
Aside from a large inventory, it’s likely that less TVs were purchased as well. As technology improves more people watch television through other devices. Netflix, Hulu and Apple (News - Alert) TV make watching TV through the computer easy, while networks stream the latest episodes online as well. Smartphones and tablets are also streaming compatible.
Another contributing factor to the decrease in shipment is that people can’t afford to buy new TVs as the technology is available. When TV stations went to digital broadcasting there was a spike in sales as people had to replace their TV sets. Today everyone has made the switch and few are interested in splurging on 3D-TVs. If the economy continues to improve, these numbers may as well.
Edited by Jennifer Russell